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Elginite celebrates 100th birthday with car parade

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    Ivory Flowers waves at the cars driving past. Photo by Julianne Hodges
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    Herbert (left) and Tomea (right) Walker, second cousins of Ivory Flowers, decorate their car before the parade.
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    Fire trucks are part of the vehicles leading the parade.
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    Mayor Chris Cannon (right) presents the proclamation to Ivory Flowers (left).
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    Friends and family gather for a picture with Ivory Flowers (center, seated).
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    These signs proclaim Ivory Flowers’ 100th birthday. Photo by Ivory Thomas

Friends and family found a creative way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Ivory Flowers from a safe distance.

On Saturday, July 18, a total of 156 cars, lead by the Elgin Volunteer Fire Department and the Elgin Police Department, paraded down MLK Boulevard and Church Street from Booker T. Washington Elementary School to a spot in front of Greater Mount Vernon Zion AME Church, where Flowers sat and waved to the passing vehicles. Many of the vehicles were decorated with pink balloons and other decorations, such as signs wishing Flowers a happy birthday.

“Everything was lovely,” Flowers said. “I enjoyed the whole day.”

After the parade, Elgin Mayor Chris Cannon read a proclamation to Flowers, declaring that day as Ivory Flowers Day in Elgin.

Lots has changed over the years, Flowers said. When she was younger, she recalls riding in a wagon to McDade and Elgin, walking to school, picking up pecans and walnuts, raising hogs, chickens and turkeys, and hunting r abbits and deer.

She loved going to school and playing basketball, as well as going to church every Sunday.

“I’ve lived a good life,” Flowers said. “God has blessed me and brought me a mighty, mighty long way.”

Her advice to others is “serving the Lord.”

“God is first, and self is next,” she said. “I’m still walking and going (to church), I give God the credit for it.”